More market-rate units may be coming to this LES NYCHA complex

A plan for LaGuardia Houses could have up to 75% market-rate apartments

Mayor Bill de Blasio with the LaGuardia Houses at 280 Cherry Street (Credit: Getty Images and Wikipedia)
Mayor Bill de Blasio with the LaGuardia Houses at 280 Cherry Street (Credit: Getty Images and Wikipedia)

More market-rate apartments are planned for a Lower East Side public housing complex, in an effort to raise more funds for the troubled New York City Housing Authority.

NYCHA officials presented a revised proposal to tenants at the LaGuardia Houses during a Monday meeting, The City reported. The complex, which houses 2,700 residents, has been eyed for private development since the Bloomberg administration — but Mayor Bill De Blasio last year sought proposals for a tower with half market-rate units.

The city is now aiming for a 35-to-45-story story that could be up to 75 percent market-rate apartments, the report said. Felicia Cruickshank, president of La Guardia’s Tenant Association, said that along with Extell’s One Manhattan Square and the three-skyscraper waterfront development in Two Bridges, “it’s just going to gentrify the whole community.”

La Guardia is among the complexes identified in the city’s “NextGeneration Neighborhoods” program, which aims to raise up to $600 million for public housing repairs by attracting developers to build on NYCHA sites. In the four years since it was announced, no projects have broken ground.

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The City reported last week that City Hall no longer planned to pursue a tower that had been in the works since 2005 for a NYCHA site in Hell’s Kitchen. NYCHA declined to comment on the La Guardia project or offer an update on any of the other NextGeneration sites, the report said.

Olivia Lapeyrolerie, a City Hall spokesperson, said that the city is “not walking away from our commitment to deliver critical repairs” for residents at the 10-building complex. “We are simply doing our due diligence by engaging all the relevant stakeholders,” she said in a statement.

NYCHA, while embroiled in scandal, has also sought means to raise funds for much-needed repairs. In January, Housing Secretary Ben Carson announced a new federal monitor for NYCHA, which has settled federal litigation over mismanagement of tens of thousands of subsidized apartments. The agreement allows HUD to install a monitor overseeing NYCHA’s management and requires the city to make an additional investment of $2 billion over the next five years. [The City] — Meenal Vamburkar